Profiles of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in Surface Waters and Biota From Merrimack River Subwatersheds, New Hampshire
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AbstractPoly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) belong to the group of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and due to their unique chemical structure, they are virtually omnipresent in the environment. PFAS compounds toxicity is being intensively studied and regulations gradually implemented, and there is a need to study the fates and exposure pathways of whole spectrum of PFAS, as many of them bio-accumulate in various biota. In this project, paired surface water and freshwater fish (Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Yellow Perch, Lake Whitefish, Brown Bullhead, Smallmouth bass, Largemouth bass, Chain Pickerel) samples were collected at nine locations across New Hampshire (Merrimack river subwatersheds), and analyzed for 24 PFAS to assess the level of overall contamination and to calculate BAFs for 18 PFAS compounds in 8 freshwater fish species. With increasing trophicity level and carbon chain length, the BAFs increased rapidly, and the highest level was measured for Smallmouth bass for PFDoA at over 115 000. The highest BAFs for all sampled species were measured for long-chain PFAS - PFUA (688 - 19583), PFDA (213 - 3736), and PFDoA (1608 - 115259). We conducted principal component analysis (PCA) and spatial analysis on PFAS profiles to identify specific PFASs as tracers for industrial sources, including teflon coating manufacturers, landfills, textile mills, WWTP, commercial printing, and airports. Analysis of the extended PFAS profiles allows better source attribution.
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